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Mid-Michigan Branch
24150 31 Mile Road
Ray Township, Michigan 48096
Ed Spinazzola-President (810) 784-8090
Frank Myers-Vice-President (517) 386-9194

March 24, 1999

Hi Neighbor

Wow! You guys sure arenít shy about sharing your opinions. I enjoyed reading about your hunting experiences, positive and negative. I think you know my stance on hunting. "Keep it fun".

Let me start by using Mr. Brian Reisners comment. "I am enjoying hunting more by passing on smaller deer".

Have you noticed the trend away from bait and toward food plots? As far as I am concerned food plots work better and certainly aid our deerís health. Bait piles tend to encourage deer to become more nocturnal and have you noticed how they become spookier approaching the pile as the season progresses. Mr. Al Urban is just one of many not using bait. Note: I am not against bait if done correctly it can aid in identifying and selectively harvesting the right deer, (ex. no button buck).

For many of you who are passing on young bucks, creating food plots and still not seeing very many deer like Mr. Richard King, donít give up. I wonít bore you again with my story except to say this stuff works. I encourage you to keep at it and eventually you will find the right combination that will work for you.

When new property is purchased many times it has a history of being community property because the previous owner didnít hunt it, didnít fence it, post it, or patrol it. I feel for Mr. Matthew Short and his recent purchase of land in Branch County. I have been there. Time and a serious effort of enforcing your rights should turn it around.

Mr. Craig Stefanko you are right. Too many of us have a buck mentality and we should promote the concept of "let em go let em grow" so that more hunters enjoy other experiences that QDM offers.

Take a look at Boyd Wiltseís 3Ĺyr. old 10pt. buck. Not bad for an area thatís primarily sandy. His son Clint took a nice 8pt. last year. Guess who canít stand to be upstaged.

Our Vice President Mr. Frank Myers didnít shoot a buck last year even though he saw 10 different bucks on Nov. 15th. Frank had 4Ĺ acres of food plots put in last yr. with the new mossy oak rape plant being part of the variety planted. The deer annihilated it. There wasnít anything left on opening day and yet they still visited his food plots. Frank insists he saw these bucks and many others throughout the season because he had a hot doe hanging around. Yeah right!

Speaking of seeing 10 bucks on opening day, Rollie Newman lost track of the count he saw. Rollie you ainít seen nuttin yet. Wait till we get some age on these guys.

Notice the contrast of the experiences from 10 bucks seen to none or very few throughout the season. I donít have all the answers but soil type and a good mix of habitat is a vital key to high productivity. Add QDM practices and a dash of hunting skill and your cake might taste as good as franks, even without a hot doe.

Norm Engel youíre not alone in attracting unwanted trespassers to your refuge area. Many like Matthew Short have this problem. However you address it, donít let it take the fun out of hunting.

It is interesting to read how some of you have been pushing QDM for years like Jason Cline of Midland (10 yrs.). Jason I like your style of persistence & gentle persuasion, keep it going.

So how are we doing in DMU 452? Mr. Bob Doctor of the yes club has a story. They are managing their deer and habitat with a variety of practices. How about a long range timber program, seven yrs. Of passing on young bucks, harvesting about the same number of does as bucks, adding QDM practices yearly and working with nearby clubs to join their objectives. Yes Bob I find the enclosed info not only helpful but also interesting.

There has been a tremendous increase in the interest and practices of QDM. In December of 1996 when we formed the Mid Mich. Branch there were 76 total members in Michigan. Today it is slightly over 300. In the past two years there have been at least 8 QDM workshops. Mr. Bryon Bernard of Hale organized one last Sept. and had neighbors commit 10,379 acres to practicing QDM. It gave the participants a choice of what type of buck they wanted to pass on. 45% of the targeted area joined Bryon's program with many more expected to join. This is one way it can get started. He is not alone, Mr. Dave Parsons of Charlevoix, Mr. Gary Anderson of Ludington, Mr. Perry Russso of Minden City and Mr. Don Carpenter along with his partner Tom Balzer of Unionville had workshops that had excellent attendance and almost unanimous approval.

Bob Jacobson donít you know it is illegal to shoot a deer with a 40lb. cannon.

Then thereís Mr. John Oblak of Jackson who took a nice 3Ĺ yr. old 11pt. with a bow. They have a 6pt. min. rule and encourage their hunters to only take a buck if they intend to mount it. This works. Nice buck John. You wondered if you get QDMA membership cards. I donít think so but I know a couple of guys who will make you one for the chance to hunt your property.

It should be obvious that I enjoy writing this letter, but I better not wear out my welcome so on to the finale.

I met our featured speaker Dr. Karl Miller for our Sept. 18th seminar at the southeast deer study group in Arkansas last Feb. 15th. I asked him what his topics would be. He said sex. I donít think weíll have enough room at Jayís Sporting Goods, so get there early. Dr. Miller is the co-editor of the QDMA book, Quality Whitetails and is very much sought out as a speaker. He is an expert in scent and deer social behavior. I thank Mr. Dick Shellenbarger for his wisdom and foresight in acquiring Karl. Mr. John Ozoga: Karl is looking forward to meeting you at the seminar. Hope you can come, weíll cook up some group discussion. Mr. Mitch Rompala, howís your schedule for the year 2000?

We had a booth at the deer spectacular held in Lansing last Feb. 12th thru 14th. I understand there was great interest. Thanks to Bill Scelsky in making up the shed antler displays, and many thanks to Boyd, Mark, Randy and Perry in making it a success.

We do not have a membership fee to cover our seminar and other educational costs. Our Main source of revenue is our raffle ticket sales. You will receive them shortly. Please help.

Mr. Mark Yenkel of Clare has made a proposal to the Natural Resource Commission NRC to make DMU 107 a demonstration mandatory area. The min buck rule is to be 3pts. on one side for 5 yrs. The NRC will hear comments on April 7, 1999 at the Four Points Sheraton 4960 Towne Center Rd., Saginaw. You can call Ms. Teresa Gloden. Executive Secretary @ 517-373-2352 to schedule a 5 min. presentation for the afternoon session @ 4:00 p.m. or the evening one starting @ 7:00 p.m. You can also sign in at the meeting for a 3 min. presentation. Try to make it to Saginaw for this meeting which promises to be interesting, it also has the statewide baiting issue on the agenda. So show up and express your views. If you canít make it to Saginaw you can write a letter to the NRC. The address is Natural Resource Commission, P.O. Box 30028, Lansing MI 48909.

The NRC will vote on the statewide baiting issue and Marks proposal on April 8. Our next meeting will be at Jayís April 10 at 12:00 p.m.

Keep The Fun In Hunting



Ed Spinazzola

P.S. I just remembered that I saw quite a few bucks last Nov. 15, and twice I saw 3 bucks chasing a doe. Rollie you mentioned that you saw groups of bucks chasing a doe. Could it be? Naw, it couldnít be. Or could it? Could it have been Franks hot doe?

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